SRI AUROBINDO'S NOTION OF BOYCOTT
Research Scholar An International Refereed e-Journal of Literary Explorations
In the social-political theory of Sri Aurobindo swaraj seems to be the path mandatory for transforming a common life into the Life Divine and boycott remains as one of its important corollaries. In his spiritual dream of fulfilling the union with the Divine, he had taken the political path as he truly realized that for making our country wholly prepared for this spiritual destination, our first priority must be the attainment of its political freedom. Political liberty, in his opinion, serves
... the gateway of achieving the spiritual liberty. He had a firm belief over India's spiritual excellence and for making our mother-land as the spiritual guide of all other spiritually backward nations it has to be made free from the shackles of its political servitude. Boycott is actually treated as an excellent weapon in this regard. A boycott is generally an act of voluntary abstaining from using, buying or dealing with a person, organization or nation as an expression of protest against any kind of exploitation, usually for political reasons. It can be used in the local, provincial, national as well as international context of politics. Local to international politics can be affected by the good as well as the bad sides of boycott. Before India, the Europe was quite accustomed with such use of boycott in the political context. However we have to concentrate with the concept of boycott as found in the social-political thought of Sri Aurobindo. According to Karan Singh 'Sri Aurobindo had no hesitation in using violent means to achieve his country's freedom from foreign oppression. He was, however, by no means an impractical dreamer. It appears he soon realized that an armed revolt at that stage of India's history was not feasible, and though he continued to support and guide the underground terrorist movement in the hope that it would demoralize British serving in India, he could have had no illusions as to the possibility of mere terrorism securing the country's freedom. In fact his writings make it clear that in the light of the massive upheaval of public protest as the result of the partition, he wished the national movement to be not merely an affair of secret societies and clandestine activities but a broad, open, sweeping movement which would enthuse and organize the vast Indian masses in an irresistible upsurge towards emancipation and independence. Thus, although violent methods may have their place in Sri Aurobindo's technique, his vision and foresight led him to advocate an entirely different method which he rightly thought was 'the most natural and suitable weapon' under the circumstances, whereby the nation could achieve its liberty-the method of passive resistance' i. In this way we became acquainted with the fact that, Sri Aurobindo, even though, known as a revolutionary activist or extremist, accepted both the path of violent and non-violent means to gain freedom from the British servitude. In his writings he often mentioned it as a form of defensive resistance; however both passive and active resistance is included within the vast arena of defensive resistance ii .